Why Do Ecuadorians Play Their Music So Deafeningly Loud?

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Below was a question posted on an Ecuador Focused Facebook Site. If you wish to be a “fly on the wall” to the many expats who are living in Ecuador, this conversation is a great opportunity to hear their thoughts on living in Ecuador:

I am not trying to start a war or ruffle feathers, but I honest to goodness want to know: Why do Ecuadorians play their music at deafening levels? There is no regard for neighbors or even the people attending. The party last night started at 8:30 and blasted till 6 this morning. Not all the pillows and ear plugs in town could drown it out. 

(Please Note: I have taken out the names to protect the privacy of the individuals who replied:)

EXPAT RESPONSES

*** Welcome to Ecuador..

*** One thing a loud music culture, the other is insulation is not needed on southamerican homes, therefore with the same party in the states there wont be as much loudness scaping to the neighbour

*** My husband and I are country people. We need quiet. Therefore, we cannot live in towns. We live out in a finca area. About once every six months they have a big party. Fortunately it is far away and we have ways of muting the sound.

*** Some people love city life and the noise that comes with it. We don’t. So we found we will never do well in town.

*** Fyi..talk with the police. There are ordanence in ecuador. There was in galapagos and in guayaquil. I sent a letter to a city hall office. The neighboor was horrible.. dogs too. They have the same laws in ecuador. It is a $200 fine if you dont comply to the complaints.

*** They enjoy noise and a party atmosphere. So do many young people world wide. People and cultures have different preferences.

***Don’t tolerate this. First time, they get a polite request. Second time, they get a less-happy request. Third time, they got a policemen brought to their door. No policemen around? Bang on their door at 7am… or just start hootin’ and hollerin’ like you’re part of the party.

***You want to be in their country you should be more tolerant. You are the guest.

*** Isn’t life too short for BS like this??????

*** That how it is in Vilcabamba downtown. Lots of parties on weekends!

***  This is a Latin thing and found in all Latin based countries even the Philippines. I think they subscribe to the idea that MORE and BIGGER is better grin emoticon

*** Partying, drinking, cockfights, and loud music.. I have found thiem in every Latin country I have visited LOL

*** I think they enjoy being with friends and family and this is one way they celebrate it. I love to see them happy and far be it for me to try to put a stop to it!

***  In my example, the guy was sitting just inside his front door, all alone, with his giant speaker just outside the front door. At 630am.

*** I try to make everyone leave by breakfast.

*** The parties are so interactive, dancing, eating, men telling ‘cachos’, dancing some more….drinking and hungry again.

*** So, who cares about all the many neighbors trying to sleep? Who cares about them? Some may say that is selfish. It is possible to have fun without that crazy high noise level.

*** I tell my neighbors and invite them and I am cognizant of the noise level. I care, I cannot answer for others. I am sorry that you jumped into conclusions that I was okay with being disruptive with the noise….rather, I was explaining as to why the parties last so long.

We have had the exact same problem. I just went to a wedding of friends and there two competing parties with loudspeakers full blast. I finally got it after 5 years. They really enjoy it so now I know I have to leave every major holiday or suffer the consequences.

*** sounds like Thailand too.

*** Es es muy malo ,pero cuando eso suceda llamar a la policía y ellos tendrá que resolverlo las fiestas están permitidas máximo asta las 3:00 de la madrugada no más

*** Wait until one of your neighbors decide to have a Karaoke party. Is even worst they would sing songs out of tune for hours.

*** Shoot me, please. I would go crazy.

*** Had this start blasting one night at 300 am … Sad drunk love songs … Was kinda funny … Luckily I went right back to sleep … The crazy disco lights were actually worse than the music coming thru the window … Musta been laser lights … Doesn’t happen often so I can live with it as luckily I am retired and have no pressing engagements to worry about … Ever smile emoticon

*** Summers here in Rosarito, Mexico, exactamente. And year round there are many restaurants I don’t frequent because I can’t have a conversation of any sort due to the shear volume of the music, forget the noise from the patrons. Think it’s those Latin genes.

*** Isn’t it wonderful that the problem is music? At least you aren’t in the USA where people are being beaten up for the color of their skin.

*** Is it really necessary to interject USA racial issues into a discussion about loud music? Wanna talk about the bad water in Flint as long as you have totally changed the subject from loud music in Ecuador? I lived in St Louis, is there police brutality in America, yes. But more than 50% of the citizens of St Louis are black, and 99.9% can walk down the streets without police brutality.

*** And at least it’s not gun shots … I’ll take party over violence noise every day !!! And night !! We are so uptight in the north Americas we really have lost the ability to live and let live and I hope we don’t ruin Ecuador with our Norms and appreciate and assimilate into the culture or leave to seek more familiar surroundings

*** Sorry to hear that, that doesn’t happened ever here where i live , and this is Ecuador too.. ooops… lol …. have you tried and talk to the police if that happens too often ? .. if it is once a year.. well…

*** I think their hearing is so damaged from previous parties that they need to turn it up! Think about it! These people have been taking their INFANTS to these noisy parties from birth! There has to be some repercussions, hearing damage!!!

*** Because it’s a different culture…

*** Occasionally there are the loud all night parties with the same ol reggie tone booming out. There is some great latin dance music, but seldom hear that, just the same ol crap. What I don’t understand, I have driven down to where the parties are at 4AM or so and NO ONE is there, but the music is still blasting. Why?

*** They are all dead drunk

*** When this happens in Pto Lopez, we presume that the party givers paid for the DJ and the DJ will always give them their monies worth.

***  Its not “Ecuadorians”. Its some Ecuadorians, not all. And it is quite burdensom. Also Colombians, Peruvians, Brasilians, and other Latinamericans do this, with utter disregard towards their neighbours. Its the culture I guess. And often, not much you can do about it. Unfortunately.

*** I am with you on this issue. I live in a noisy neighborhood and am a light sleeper. Loud music through the night! Ugh! I strongly dislike Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30-8:30 when the Zumba music is played at the highest level possible right outside my window. My Windows shake! I have to make myself not go out and turn down the volume.

*** I mean I love music I listen it to it all day As I don’t have a TV! However I would never inflict it at all times on my neighbours. I don’t mind a bit of music daytime even if a bit loud (can be hard when I work at home) but all day everyday all night etc. it is tiresome. I feel manners go along way. I notice sometimes here can be lacking like when driving say in UK we put our hand up to say thanks etc when someone gives way. Or when my kids or me walk across a road and a car stops To give way i have taught them to raise their hands as a thank you etc etc I haven’t seen anyone return the same courtesy not once. However I accept that lots of people here will say good morning when standing in a crowd waiting and that def doesn’t happen in UK! So it’s yin and yang I suppose with all things. I will persist with my UK style of manners too ingrained and automatic for me maybe it will catch on?!

*** I don’t get comments like these ones. With all due respect, we’re here in Ecuador as foreign guests. No one is forcing us to be specifically here. If there are things we don’t like about Ecuador, we can move.

Not only that, but as others had mentioned it’s a massively huge (and in my opinion inappropriately racist) generalization to say that “Ecuadorians” play their music loudly. My girlfriend’s mother certainly doesn’t, nor does her grandma, her brother, her brother’s wife, her uncles, her aunts, etc., etc., etc….

*** I do not think anyone said everyone!! I certainly did not as I am married into an Ecuadorian family who do not do this. Also I think we are allowed to have our opinions and little moans just because we live here we shouldn’t have to say “Hey everything is great, all ok, and I accept it all whether I like it or not”. This really is simplistic. This thing of saying “well if you don’t like it then leave” that is racist. I hear that all the time to migrants in the UK!

*** I doubt anyone expects a whole culture to change!!! As I said when I can I will move to a quieter area. I think it is perfectly ok to let off steam here in the expats group.

*** I think expecting an entire country’s culture to be changed in order to accommodate people coming here for a low cost of living is quite absurd.

*** Exactly correct. It’s only some, not all.

*** I am with you on this issue. I live in a noisy neighborhood and am a light sleeper. Loud music through the night! Ugh! I strongly dislike Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30-8:30 when the Zumba music is played at the highest level possible right outside my window. My Windows shake! I have to make myself not go out and turn down the volume.

*** I mean I love music I listen it to it all day As I don’t have a TV! However I would never inflict it at all times on my neighbours. I don’t mind a bit of music daytime even if a bit loud (can be hard when I work at home) but all day everyday all night …

*** I don’t get comments like these ones. With all due respect, we’re here in Ecuador as foreign guests. No one is forcing us to be specifically here. If there are things we don’t like about Ecuador, we can move

*** I do not think anyone said everyone!! I certainly did not as I am married into an Ecuadorian family who do not do this. Also I think we are allowed to have our opinions and little moans just because we live here we shouldn’t have to say “Hey everything is cool…

*** My comment was a reply to the person making the post, who did use the term “Ecuadorians” as a generalization. The difference is, migrants in the UK are probably in the UK for much, much different reasons than most of the people making and commenting

*** I doubt anyone expects a whole culture to change!!! As I said when I can I will move to a quieter area. I think it is perfectly ok to let off steam here in the expats group.

*** After a few nights in Cotacachi with the roosters, musical garbage trucks, early morning blaring loudspeakers and the music it was a no brainer that ¨city¨ life was not for me. So we bought a short distance from town.

*** When you say, “Ecuadorians”, you generalize. Not all “Ecuadorians” are created equal. I could say the same thing about people, here in the States, but that would be like putting everyone in a certain category. Signed, an Ecuadorian.

*** Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con usted.

*** Yes I suppose reading the op the poster could of used a better choice of words. I am sure it was not meant in an offensive way. Come on people we all generalize as some point in our lives no one is perfect – look I just did i just said all us Brits are moaners….please UK expats I don’t mean it honest its just a joke!

*** And another generalisation from another Brit……we fell in live with Ecuador and Ecuadorians. Does NOT mean we cannot voice our opinions or little moans. We think the main issue with living in Ecuador is the expats who seem either to be delightful, warm and friendly, or little arses.

*** I reckon I am somewhere in between Frankie, delightful, warm and friendly ass? smile emoticon !

*** it’s OK! I had the gall to complain about a corporate grocery chain, TIA, cause they do not sell kitty litter and rarely sell Diet Coke. OMG did the spears fly! I was told to get the f*ck back to America.

*** Before we bought our land and built our home in Puerto Lopez, an Ecuadorian friend gave us great advice. He said neighbors are everything here…get to know them BEFORE you buy anything. We did. I think we have the best neighbors in town.

*** I agree with most of you..not all Ecuadorian used to do this ..

***I think some of you are bing nit picky about the choice of words, especially referring to Ecuadorians. Maybe it would have been more PC.

What do you think?

In  my  new book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador

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Lao-Tzu said, “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”

Sunset in Ecuador

Sunset in Ecuador

I am frankly amazed that my blog on my experiences here in Ecuador over the past eight months is now being read in over 50 countries. I had no idea people were so interested in Ecuador or what I have to say about it.

My “Footprints In Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” blog has been all about my experiences of learning to live here in Ecuador these past eight months.

I won’t lie to you, it’s been rally, really challenging at times. I’m still working my way through culture shock here in Ecuador, understanding my own boundaries and the different cultural boundaries of the native Ecuadorians, learning how to cook what I know and also what great Ecuadorian food there is to learn with the ingredients available here and at times, dealing with my frustration with how slow things can often be balanced with also my tremendous awe of the beauty of living here in this country.

I’ve travelled all over the world for both work and pleasure. It’s hard to describe in words, but there is an amazing generous heartedness of the Ecuadorian people that I have never experienced anywhere in the world.

I wake up every day feeling so incredibly grateful for living here and for what I’m learning not only about Ecuador, but also what I’m learning about myself. It feels like everything I don’t truly need is slowly falling away: my blind spots, my assumptions, my cultural bias’s, my need to be liked and appreciated, my need for my “stuff,” and so many other aspects of myself that are slowly coming into view in my own heart of hearts.

All I can say is that as things fall away, I feel lighter and more free. I am more and more always in a state of loving what I have and being in a continuous state of contentment. Lao-Tzu said, “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”

I realized recently that in paying close attention to my mind, what I’m learning and embracing all there is to love about this country and it’s people, that the rest of my life has indeed fallen into place.

There is always more to learn and more to experience of course. But it feels great to be where I am right now, in this moment.

Please feel free to share your thoughts here about your own experiences of living in a foreign country or questions you may have about my experience here living in South America.

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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Additional Links:

If you would like to read more of my tales of challenge and fascination about my living in Ecuador, please go to: https://footprintsinecuador.wordpress.com

If you would like to read my very First Impressions Of Ecuador: http://wp.me/47vLx

For more on beachfront land investments in Ecuador go to: http://www.EcuadorBeachfrontProperties.com

For More on the Life and Work of Mary Anne Dorward, please go to: http://www.maryannedorward.com
For Professional Speaking Coaching and Speech Writing, please go to: http://www.myrealvoice.com or for video http://bit.ly/1fmLjuL
For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.
Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador™: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward unless otherwise credited.
All photos and writing on Footprints in Ecuador ™ and Words To thrive By are a Copyright 2014 by Mary Anne Dorward. All rights reserved.

ECUADOR: The Dawn Of Carnival 2014

The Dawn Of Carnival Weekend: Ecuador

The Dawn Of Carnival Weekend: Ecuador

It’s the beginning of CARNIVAL weekend in Ecuador! Whoo Hoo! This is the view I saw from my window earlier! What a beautiful day it is today!

The holiday of Carnival today is the four days leading up to the beginning of Lent. Everyone parties their guts out and goes wild and then its back to church.

Hundred and hundreds of years ago, the followers of the Catholic religion in Italy started the tradition of holding a wild costume festival right before the first day of Lent. Because Catholics are not supposed to eat meat during Lent, they called their festival, carnevale — which means “to put away the meat.”

As time passed, carnivals in Italy became quite famous; and in fact the practice spread to France, Spain, and all the Catholic countries in Europe. Then as the French, Spanish, and Portuguese began to take control of the Americas and other parts of the world, they brought with them their tradition of celebrating carnival.

Some of the costumes from other South American countries are pretty WILD:

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

Note: Photo above courtesy of ABC News

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014

CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014 Note: Photo courtesy of ABC News

ALL PHOTOS from CARNIVAL BRAZIL 2014 are courtesy of ABC NEWS and can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com/International/photos/2014-carnival-brazil-22727052/image-22738257

Update on Carnival 2014 ECUADOR Day 1:

Well I was awake until after 2:00 AM as there was so much noise from people partying and the music and the yelling and the dancing and the fireworks. I decided rather than fight it, I would simply catch the wave of the amazing energy and work on my book. When I needed to take a break, I walked out on my balcony and watched the amazing party from there. I’ve honestly never seen anything like this.

Carnival 2014 ECUADOR Day 2.  

The beach and the water are swarming with people right now! It looks like a massive colorful HIVE out there on the streets, in the water and on the beach. I guess all the partying last night didn’t keep them from enjoying the sun and the surf today!

Carnival 2014: Day 2 in Ecuador

Carnival 2014: Day 2 in Ecuador

Getting busier early afternoon!

CARNIVAL 2014 Ecuador Beach at Noon

CARNIVAL 2014 Ecuador Beach at Noon

More to come!

Additional Links:

  • For More on the Life and Work of Mary Anne Dorward, please go to: www.maryannedorward.com
  • For Professional Speaking Coaching and Speech Writing, please go to: www.myrealvoice.com or for video http://bit.ly/1fmLjuL
  • To Learn more about my book, “Words To Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope,” please go to: www.wordstothriveby.com or  for video http://bit.ly/1hlyGoc
  • To Buy The Book, go to Amazon: http://amzn.to/L9NYkl
  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.

ECUADOR: Dia De Los Muertos

Colada Morada and Bread in the Shape of a Person served in Ecuador on Day Of The Dead

Colada Morada and Bread in the Shape of a Person served in Ecuador on Day Of The Dead Note: Photo Courtesy of Google Images

In many places in the world, October 31- November 2 is the period known as “Dia de Los Muertos.” (Day of The Dead) In Ecuador, people spend part of their “Dia de Los Muertos” sitting on the grave of their Loved One, “sharing a meal” together.

Another part of the tradition of this holiday, is to drink this fermented blood red colored drink called, “Colada Morada.” “Colada Morada” is made, in part, from the very deep red mora berry fermented with other fruits. They also eat this special bread which is baked in the shape of the body of a person and is symbolic of and honoring their dear loved ones who have passed away.

The “Dia de Los Muertos” Tradition, (most common in the Sierra areas of Ecuador,) is that before you drink your “Colada Morada”, you take the person shaped bread, dunk the head only of it into your fermented brew, (which of course turns the bread deep red) and then bite the head off of the bread and eat it.

Fascinating huh?

I guess you could say that today is a “Dia de Los Muertos” for me too. I honor my ancestors who have helped to shape who I am today, especially those ancestors of mine who took the tremendous leap of faith and courage to go to America from England and Scotland, to discover new lands and build a new life for themselves and for those of us who came after them.

At the same time, I also honor the life and the lifestyle that I am in the process of letting go of  from living in the United States for over five decades and moving to a new country.

It’s a challenging transition moving to another country. But with each day that passes, I welcome all of these new experiences with open arms, deep gratitude and tremendous  faith.

How have you managed the challenges of moving to another country?

Additional Links:

  • For More on the Life and Work of Mary Anne Dorward, please go to: www.maryannedorward.com
  • For Professional Speaking Coaching and Speech Writing, please go to: www.myrealvoice.com or for video http://bit.ly/1fmLjuL
  • To Learn more about my book, “Words To Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope,” please go to: www.wordstothriveby.com or  for video http://bit.ly/1hlyGoc
  • To Buy The Book, go to Amazon: http://amzn.to/L9NYkl
  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.

 

ECUADOR: New Years Eve 2013 ~ Monigote Fires and Fireworks

Monigotes Burning A Few Minutes Before Midnight

Monigotes Burning A Few Minutes Before Midnight

A few minutes before midnight on New Years Eve, bonfires began appearing out in the streets and all down the beach. People began throwing their 2013 Monigotes on the fire (See photo above) to officially end “El Año Viejo” or “The Old Year” here in Ecuador.

I had already stuffed “Junior,” my 2013 Monigote, with everything bad that I could think of that had happened in my life during 2013. “Junior” was stuffed to the gills and I could hardly get any more slips of paper into his mouth:

"Junior" Being Stuffed With What I Was Leaving Behind From 2013

“Junior” Being Stuffed With What I Was Leaving Behind From 2013

I took him down to the street just off the beach. There, I was welcomed by the caretakers of my building who generously shared their Monigote fire. Their Monigote’s had already burned so they offered to help me burn mine.

I kicked “Junior” a few times really hard, as is the custom here, to really get any last bit of bad stuff out of my heart from 2013.

"Junior" Lit On Fire

“Junior” Lit On Fire

It was very interesting. “Junior” at first refused to light. It was as if “Junior” was hanging on and 2013 was refusing to go. I took up a stick and began beating “Junior” and he still refused to light.  The Caretakers commented on this and so they took up sticks too to help. They prodded “Junior” as I beat on him. Finally “Junior” caught fire.

Mary Anne Beating On 2013

Mary Anne Beating On 2013

The smoke was huge from the fire. And still,”Junior” took quite awhile to burn down. Most Monigotes take just a few minutes to totally burn down. “Junior” was still flaming after 20 minutes. I guess there was a lot I was letting go of from 2013!!

"Junior" And The Year 2013 Finally Letting Go

“Junior” And The Year 2013 Finally Letting Go

Eventually, “Junior” and 2013 “El Año Viejo” were no more. 2013 was officially OVER for me! Whoo! Hoo!

2013 ~ "El Año Viejo" ~ Is No More

2013 ~ “El Año Viejo” ~ Is No More

There were fireworks for some time up and down the beach along with firecrackers and cherry bombs and lots of other things that went, “BOOM!” in the night:

Monigote Fire 2013

Monigote Fire 2013

2013 Monigote Fire and Fireworks, Ecuador

2013 Monigote Fire and Fireworks, Ecuador

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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NEW YEARS IN ECUADOR: BURN UP YOUR TROUBLES

Managote On A Delivery Truck

Monigote On A Delivery Truck

Monigotes Being Sold on The Street in Portoviejo, Ecuador

Monigotes Being Sold on The Street in Portoviejo, Ecuador

There are some really fun and interesting New Years Traditions in Ecuador that I just love! About this time of year, you see small, medium, large, very large and huge colorful paper mache figures lining the road. They are called “Monigotes” and the Tradition is that you choose one that really fits you and your personality and, most importantly, your “Old Year”or “El Año Viejo” that is passing.

I chose a one eyed cyclops, who is (I think?) also a cartoon figure from the movie Monsters Inc.

Mary Anne's Managote for 2013

Mary Anne’s Monigote for 2013

For me, this Monster is symbolic of what I want to leave behind: Fears, Worries, Scary Stuff.

My New Best Friend: "Junior"

My New Best Friend: “Junior”

I have named him, “Junior.” He is also symbolic of the year I want to have in 2014, even though I think, technically, that this wish of mine violates #1 of the Ecuadorian New Year’s Traditions Rule Book. There is a saying somewhere that goes something like this: “If your Eye be Single, your body will be full of Light.” Well what better symbol of a singular eye for that new year FULL of light than a one eyed cyclops?

The Monigotes Tradition here is that you are supposed to hang out with your Monigote figure for about a week before New Years. Some people attach them to the roof’s and grilles of their cars as in the photo at the beginning of this blog. Some, like mine, get attached to the balcony railing:

Junior Lashed To The Railing

Junior Lashed To The Railing

View of Junior From The Beach

View of Junior From The Beach

A Dragon Manigota on Floor 2

A Dragon Monigote on Floor 2

Smurf Manigota

Smurf Monigote

Next, you punch a hole somewhere in your Monigote. For that week, you write down on pieces of paper EVERYTHING you wish to leave behind from The Old Year, “El Año Viejo” and insert these papers into your Monigote.  When you fill your Monigote up with everything negative thing from the year passing that you can think of, you can add a firecracker or a cherry bomb for extra bang. Some people who want money in the new year will add a few coins to theirs too. In any event,  I understand the Monigotes explosions are quite impressive to see.

Everyone here builds a huge bonfire in the street or on the beach close to midnight on the last day of the year. Just before midnight, you throw your Monigote on the fire. As the fire and all the Monigotes burn, some people even jump over their fires and it’s one huge party on the beach or in the street.  I understand some people even kick their Monigote around a bit before they throw their Monigote on that fire too. Might as well give ALL your anger, frustrations and disappointments a swift kick in the butt before you leave them behind forever!

Some other things you will see along the side of the road right now are people selling yellow and red underwear. It is said here that if you wear yellow underwear on New Years you will have very “Good Luck” (“Buenas Suerte”)  and if you wear red underwear, you will meet your “True Love” or “Find Romance.”

Another thing people do here for “Good Luck” (“Buenas Suerte”) and “Sweetness” (Dulce”)  in the New Year” is to eat 12 grapes just before midnight.  At 11:57, you will also see people also running around their homes or buildings carrying a suitcase! This tradition is for people who want to travel in the New Year.

I love all these wonderful New Years Traditions here in Ecuador! And yes, just before Junior hits the fire, I shall be giving him one giant kick in the butt. It’s time for “El Año Viejo” 2013 to be DONE and for my New Year, “El Año Nuevo” of 2014 to begin with a totally clean slate!

Truck Driver and His Monigote

Truck Driver and His Monigote

Monigotes, Portoviejo, Ecuador

Monigotes, Portoviejo, Ecuador

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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THE CHRISTMAS PIE

Traditional American Apple Pie

Traditional American Apple Pie

Tonight we are invited to dinner at the home of a native Ecuadorian woman whom I met recently. Her name is Margarita. It will be a Traditional Ecuadorian Christmas Dinner for her family (and us) and it will include her 104 year old mother! I’m really looking forward to learning more about what a Traditional Ecuadorian Christmas Feast is like.

When I asked what I could bring, Margarita said, “Please bring A Traditional American Dessert!” “Well!” I thought to myself, “What could be more of a Traditional American Dessert than An Apple Pie?!”

The funny thing is, (or NOT so funny depending on how you look at it?!), even though I have made this same pie hundreds and HUNdreds of times over the years, this morning when I got up I could NOT, for the LIFE of me, remember the recipe for EITHER my trusty “No Fail Pie Crust” or the ingredients for “The Apple Pie?!”

This morning, when I thought of what else I could possible make, I realized I didn’t have ANY of the ingredients. The grocery store was an hour bus ride, there and back. I reeeeally did not want to face Christmas Eve Shopping Madness in ANY country today.

All I could think of was, “Uh Oh. This dessert if I just make it up is going to be a Culinary Disaster!”

So I sent an urgent SOS to my daughter, Sarah. Fortunately, she found an old email from 2009 when I had sent HER the very same recipes when SHE was away from home! So Thank God she was able to send me both of the recipes I needed today or I would have been totally SUNK.

I’m feeling SO grateful for My Daughter right now! Thank you Sarah! xoxox

Traditional Apple Pie #2

Traditional Apple Pie #2

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

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Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  Please do not copy or reproduce any part of these blogs without express permission from Mary Anne Dorward. For more information or to schedule and inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.)